Jean (Hoyer) Ludwick
September 30, 1917 ~ July 14, 2013
Jean (Hoyer) Ludwick died peacefully at home on Sunday, July 14, 2013, lovingly surrounded by family. Jean Kathryn Hoyer was born on September 30, 1917, in Virginia, MN, the oldest of four children born to Lenore C. Vail and Benjamin Hoyer. Jean swam competitively in high school and after graduating in 1935, attended the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, where she received her training as a Medical Technologist and X-ray Technician, relatively new career fields for women at that time. In 1938, Jean headed to Waterloo, IA to work as a medical technologist at the Presbyterian Hospital. She had no car and rode her bike everywhere, including the airfield outside of town, where she began taking flying lessons and eventually put her pilot’s license to good use, ferrying precious units of blood to and from outlying hospitals.
It was in Waterloo that Jean met the handsome, new doctor in town, Arthur (“Lud”) L. Ludwick. What began as a professional relationship culminated in their marriage on October 11, 1941. Two and a half months later, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and our country’s entry into WWII, Lud was shipped overseas for 28 months to serve as a medical officer on the front lines. Upon his return in May 1944, they moved to Carthage, MO, where son, John (“Jack”) was born in 1945. Later that year, Jean and Lud headed west to find a place to live and raise their family. After touring the Northwest, they deliberately chose Wenatchee because of the climate and the Columbia River, believing that so much available fresh water would be a stabilizing economic force. Lud began his Family Medicine practice and in 1948, daughter, Margaret (“Peggy”) was born.
Jean served her community in many ways throughout her life: as Cub Scout Den Mother, organizer of the first PTA at Pioneer Jr. High, Presbyterian Church Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and Bible Study group leader. In 1951, Jean contracted polio but eventually recovered thanks, in part, to the therapy swim program she helped develop at the YMCA pool. She was one of the founders of the Wenatchee Junior Hospital Guild and chaired almost every major committee for the Guild Follies in the ‘50s. Jean served twice as an Apple Blossom Royalty Chaperone in the ‘60s, and helped initiate the Mobile Meals on Wheels program. She served on the boards of the American Red Cross (she was a lifelong blood donor), YMCA, and Wenatchee Valley Community College and was later appointed to the State Board For Community College Education by Governor Dan Evans. Always active in the political process and the Republican Party, Jean supported her issues and candidates with time and money. She not only helped others organize their campaigns, but she ran for elected office herself, becoming the first woman to be elected to the Chelan County PUD Commission in 1978, the first woman Commissioner in the state. She served two six-year terms, from 1978 to 1990, and was Commission President for three terms, as well as the PUD’s delegate to the American Public Power Association. She was also very active in state and national legislative work on behalf of the District.
Jean was a lifelong golf and bridge player and an avid sports fan, following all the college and professional football, basketball and baseball teams, particularly the Mariners. She also enjoyed spending her summers at Spader Bay on Lake Chelan, attending her five grandchildren’s many athletic and school events, making homemade soup and jam, canning peaches and pears, and dancing with Lud. Never one to sit still, Jean described herself as a ‘doer’ and a fast learner. She had boundless energy and was a tireless and devoted caregiver to her husband, Lud, for many years. We will forever be inspired by her adventurous spirit and dedication to a life of service. In Jean’s own words: “One of my greatest attributes is that I put the bad things behind me. I never dwelled on them.” Her remedy for worry and anxiety - go hit a golf ball! To the delight of her friends and family, Jean remained active, bright, and spirited to the very end.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Jack; sister, Marjorie; and her loving husband of 68 years, Lud. She is survived by her son, Jack, of Kirkland, WA (Anne); daughter, Peggy, of Yakima, WA; grandchildren: Josh Henretig (Mollie), Heather Henretig, Ben Henretig, Katie Ludwick, and Lindsay Ludwick; and two great-grandchildren, Lillie and Levi Henretig; her sister, Joan Gullickson (Clayton) of Spokane; nephews, Jeff (Catherine) Gullickson, John (Andrea) Gullickson; and niece, Mary Gullickson Gray (Mike).
We would like to thank all those friends who visited and supported Jean during these last few difficult months and the wonderful team of caregivers who brightened her days and kept her as mobile and comfortable as possible. Special thanks to Central Washington Hospital Hospice for all their wonderful services, most notably Hospice nurse, Kim Burris, Dr. Tom Ross, the staff and caregivers from Colonial Home Health, the Bonaventure staff and residents, and our devoted caregiver and ‘girl Friday’ of many years, Shirley Whaley.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Jean’s favorite local charities: Central Washington Hospital Hospice, Wenatchee Valley College Foundation, YWCA, Women’s Resource Center, or the charity of your choice.
A Private Family Burial was held on Friday, July 19, 2013, at Evergreen Memorial Park in East Wenatchee. A Memorial Service celebrating Jean’s remarkable life will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. at Saddlerock Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 1400 S. Miller Avenue, in Wenatchee.